Smiles for Seniors

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By Andrea McBride
Staff writer – Tuscola County Advertiser

CARO — It only takes one simple act to make a difference.

Elaine Ewald, founder of the organization Smiles for Seniors, lives by that motto and hopes to recruit others to do the same.

Smiles for Seniors was started by Ewald and her mother Judy Burger in 2006 as a way to give back to area residents in nursing homes and adult foster care homes. Ewald, Burger and their team started a travelling Christmas shop that allows residents to buy Christmas gifts for loved ones.

“It turned into this huge project we do every single year,” Ewald said.

The shop makes 12 to 14 stops in Tuscola County and surrounding counties each year and has had to turn people away due to high demand and not enough helping hands.

“We have so many people asking for us to come, we can’t even get to everybody,” Ewald said. “As our volunteers are getting a little bit older, the only way that our shops are going to continue is if we continue to get people who know how to help us.”

Assisting with the Christmas shop can be as simple as finding new or like new items throughout the year to donate.